December 08, 2011

Music Mix: Gratia Plena

Today, in honor of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, I made my 2nd Advent mix: songs and carols dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary.  I think you'll love this mix; I've been listening all day.

Listen to the mix by hitting play above, or click here to listen directly on 8tracks.


Stella splendens in monte: Waverly Consort, Spanish Music of Travel and Discovery
Motet: Sancta Maria succurre miseris, for 4 Voices (1572): Jordi Savall, La Capella Reial de Catalunya & Hespèrion XX, Tomas Luis De Victoria: Cantica Beatae Virginis
Swete Was The Song The Virgine Soong: Tavener Consort, Choir & Players, The Carol Album
Laudate Pueri (Psalm 113): The Danish Chamber Choir,  Claudio Monteverdi's Christmas Vespers
A Virgin Most Pure / A Virgin Unspotted: Joel Cohen and the Boston Camerata, An American Christmas
Salva nos, stella maris: Sinfonye, Gabriel's Greeting
Gabriel's MessageThe Schola Cantorum of the National Shrine of St. Francis of AssisiThis Christmas Night: Music for Advent, Christmas, & Epiphany Christmas
Ave Maria (Franz Biebl): Chanticleer, Our Heart's Joy 

A quick note about some of the music: 

As you know, because I post about it every year, I really love the Claudio Monteverdi's Vespers of the Blessed Virgin Mary (1610). But today I decided to include Laudate Pueri Psalm 113 from Monteverdi's Vespers of Christmas. (They are not well known at all. This is the only recording available of this magnificent piece.) While this is not specifically dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, it is sung in the Vespers of her high Feasts, like today.

Stella splendens in monte is not an Advent hymn at all, but I love it, and it has been much on my mind recently, so I start off with it. Dad sent me the sheet music ("Of course I have it!") and I am thinking about learning it. We'll see. (Anyone out there have a translation ?)

The Boston Camerata's version of A Virgin Most Pure / A Virgin Unspotted alternates between the older English carol, and the newer American interpretation. A fitting inclusion, considering that the Immaculate Conception is the patroness of the United States.

The Franz Biebl Ave Maria is perhaps my favorite Ave Maria. This version by Chanticleer is recorded perfection, but it is nothing compared to hearing the piece live, in a Church, when voices build, layer upon layer, filling the space, and stilling the heart with serene joy. If my soul could echo this music in any small way, I'd count myself very very blessed.


  1. I've been enjoying the Advent music you're posting, especially since I'm trying to hold off on listening to Christmas music.

    P.S. I found your blog after seeing you on the blogroll at Seeking Solomon. I love your layout.

  2. Thanks, Ashley! Any friend of MMT's is so so welcome here! :)